Pelly sees plenty of positives in Pompey performance

Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu tries to get clear against PortsmouthPelly-Ruddock Mpanzu tries to get clear against Portsmouth
Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu tries to get clear against Portsmouth
Town midfielder Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu insisted there were plenty of positives to take from his side's opening foray into League One at the weekend.

The Hatters put in an excellent display at Fratton Park on Saturday, but fell to a 1-0 defeat courtesy of Jamal Lowe’s first half goal.

However, Luton dominated for large periods, denied by post and bar as they were left to rue their misfortune, with Mpanzu saying: “We’ve got a lot of positives from the game.

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“Unfortunately we lost the game 1-0 but moving forward, we created a lot of chances, we silenced the crowd at Fratton Park and we’re unlucky not to come away with at least a point, if not three.

“I thought we dominated the game, they had a chance and scored, that’s how games go.

“We’ve created more chances, had more possession and they sat back, but we’ve got to try and break them down and it’s a learning curve.

“Fratton Park is a big stadium, a big club, and we made our mark here.

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“Unfortunately we didn’t come away with three points, it was for us, a good performance, but we’ve got to get three points and we didn’t.

“The gaffer said they scored a goal and apart from that, they’ve had a header over the bar, but we’ve controlled most of the game.

“We can’t really control the game and not get three points, we’d rather not play well and get three points.

“That’s how football goes though, we’ve got to move on and hopefully put that right.”

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It wasn’t just the woodwork that prevented Luton leaving with a victory, as Harry Cornick put his shot too close to keeper Craig MacGillivray, while Mpanzu was inches off the target.

He continued: “When I saw it trickle away, I knew it was just a bit wide. I couldn’t really get it out of my feet, so I’ve got to put it right next week.

“Sheez, I was kind of to the side of it, so I didn’t know if it was going to go in, but Collo was unlucky not to score.

“We had other chances, Cornick had a chance and it wasn’t our day to put the ball in the back of the net.”

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Mpanzu himself produced a starring role at the right of the diamond, as he was behind plenty of Town’s best moments, driving the team on in the second period.

After only breaking his way back into the side at the tail end of last season, Mpanzu looks to have carried that barnstorming form over.

On his selection, he said: “It shows the manager has got belief in me and I’ve just got to fight for my place like everyone else.

“Hopefully I put in a good performance and now I have got to continue that for the rest of the games this season.

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“I’ve got to try and get on the ball create things and try and chip in with a goal.

“Personally, I thought I had an okay game but we still lost, so we’ve got to put more effort in and hopefully get three points.”

Despite the opening day disappointment, Mpanzu is confident he can enjoy what would be the third promotion of his Luton career, having been part of the Conference winning squad of 2013-14.

He added: “It’s good to put on Luton shirt, good to be here and the main aim is to get promoted, so we can try and do that and make the fans happy.

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“We’ve got to be fighting to get promoted again, but realistically we’ve got to take it game by game and see where finish, keep pushing every team and each other on.

“One hundred per cent, we’ve got to have the belief (we can go up).

“We’re a big club in this league and we’ve got to prove that.

“Obviously today wasn’t the day we proved it, but we’ve still got 45 games to go, so hopefully we can have a little run and see where we go.”